Former 'Gladiators' star Eunice Huthart served as stunt co-ordinator for the final 'Star Wars' movie 'The Rise of Skywalker'.
"Adam made me a hero to my kid and I will never, ever, ever forget it," said Affleck.
Her performance won over Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women) and Margot Robbie (Bombshell).
(Major spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)“The Rise of Skywalker” is weird film that does many dubious things, but its most notable accomplishment is a rare feat indeed: storytelling so haphazard and random that it actually makes the other movies in its trilogy worse.That’s not easy to do. But “The Rise of Skywalker” has managed to pulled off this feat, and it’s thanks in large part to the crazy reveal that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) was behind everything all along.From the moment last summer that it was announced, I had a feeling bringing back Palpatine was probably a bad idea. We’ve seen that story before, in the old “Dark Empire” comics from the early ’90s, and that certainly didn’t go well. And there were no hints whatsoever in “The Force Awakens” or “The Last Jedi” that there was some secret other power out there. But I figured it would all depend on how JJ Abrams and friends handled it. Maybe they could make this scenario complement the other movies, and add some extra layers to future viewings of this new trilogy. Hell, the original trilogy managed to make “from a certain point of view” not sound like an insult to your intelligence.Also Read: 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' - We Need to Talk About This Rose Tico SituationUnfortunately, that’s not how it went at all.Palpatine’s presence, as it turns out, is super jarring, and makes so much of what happened in the previous two movies either meaningless or nonsensical. Watching the first two movies in this trilogy after seeing “The Rise of Skywalker” is a bizarre experience now. I’m not sure the “Star Wars” movies have ever been this much of a mess — the prequels are terribly made movies, but at least they have an over-arching plot that more or less makes sense. This new trilogy is pure madness.A lot of that is just due to the sheer scale of what the Emperor does in “The Rise of Skywalker.” We’re told that Palpatine orchestrated the rise of the First Order after the Empire’s defeat at the end of “Return of the Jedi,” and that he literally created Snoke (Andy Serkis) to lead it. Created, as in physically made him — in the that big temple on Exogol we see a big tube with a half-made Snoke body in it. So we can, in theory, say that everything Snoke ever did was because Emperor Palpatine told him to do it. I don’t see any other way to interpret this turn of events with the minimal explanations we’re given in this movie.Not only that, but as it turns out, while the First Order was out there building an army and a big fleet, Palpatine was hanging out on Exogol with a huge fleet of his own buried in the ice, each equipped with a planet-killing Death Star superlaser. The Emperor has had a thousand Death Stars, basically. And none of them were ever even used until one of them blew up a planet in “The Rise of Skywalker.”Also Read: Nothing About Emperor Palpatine's Return in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Makes SenseThis basic premise really messes up basically everything from “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.” The entire conflict between the Resistance and the First Order becomes weirdly kinda low stakes with the Emperor lurking out there with his thousand Death Stars. Why would the First Order do all that work to hollow out a planet and build Starkiller Base, their own new and improved Death Star, when Palpatine could have just given them a few of the Death Stars he already had?Maybe more problematic is the issue of Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) lineage. It’s not necessarily a problem that she’s Palpatine’s granddaughter. It is extremely an issue that, as we’re told practically as an afterthought, Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) knew about it. That little tidbit makes everything Luke has done in this trilogy seem extra bizarre and stupid.Let’s break it down real quick. When Lando shows up in “The Rise of Skywalker” on the desert planet Pasaana, he tells the gang that he originally came there more than a decade before with Luke. The two of them were searching for Exogol, which that snow planet where Palpatine is hanging out in the movie.They came to Pasaana because they were chasing an old Jedi hunter from the before times. But they just found an empty ship and no clues. Now, the reason this Jedi hunter was on Pasaana was because he had been pursuing Rey on Palpatine’s behalf. But the hunter only found her parents, because they had left her on Jakku. So he killed the parents and bailed before Luke and Lando got there. And I guess Luke and Lando gave up on the search since Lando is still there many years later.Also Read: Whose Voices Were Those at the End of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'?Left unsaid is why Luke and Lando were trying to find Exogol, but there are a couple easy guesses I could make. The option that looks best for “The Rise of Skywalker” is that Luke knew there was a Sith temple there and wanted to check it out, but didn’t know that anything further was going on. But that doesn’t seem like a likely story, because they aren’t looking for clues — they’re looking for people who are alive and know things about Exogol. And since Luke in the present knew about Rey’s family, then this whole adventure looking for Exogol has to be where he learned about her.So Luke knew about Exogol, and he knew that a Jedi hunter came out of retirement to actively hunt some folks. He probably, given his knowledge of Rey’s family in the present, knew that Palpatine had had a family and at least one grandkid, and that that family was running around the galaxy to get away from Palpatine’s agents, even though Palpatine was already long dead by then. The only possible takeaway from that collection of evidence is that something weird and probably bad is happening. Something that Luke, as the only Jedi at the time, would need to be wary of.So fast forward to Luke was training Ben Solo (Adam Driver) and a bunch of others to become Jedi a few years before “The Force Awakens,” he and Leia both sensed the existence of Snoke (Andy Serkis). And they knew that Snoke was trying to turn Ben to the dark side by some means — the how of that situation has not been made clear in any movies or books thus far. But a new comic released this week, “The Rise of Kylo Ren 1,” appears to reveal that not only did Luke know about Snoke by that time, but they actually had fought before and Luke was responsible for Snoke looking all messed up in the movies.It always felt like kind of a stretch that Luke would exile himself and cut himself off from the Force — let alone be cool with doing extrajudicial murder on his nephew — as explained in “The Last Jedi,” but when I’m in a generous mood I can allow for the idea that Luke thought he would do more harm than good after the stuff with Ben happen. But this new information makes that impossible to justify, unless you wanna argue that Luke is too dumb to put these pieces together. He had to have known, for decades before the emergence of the First Order, that there was some big shadowy threat out there.Hopefully, when we eventually get a novel or comic book that tells the story of this little adventure he had with Lando, this will make more sense. But right now, it does not.That’s the consequence of this weird, completely random addition of Emperor Palpatine to this trilogy. The fact that he was out there, orchestrating the creation of the First Order and hoarding a bunch of Death Stars, really alters the plot of the previous two movies in ways that those movies simply cannot support. This retcon just does not work.Read original story ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Actually Makes ‘The Last Jedi’ and ‘The Force Awakens’ Worse At TheWrap
(Be warned that we’ve got some huge spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”)There’s really been one major thing that’s been on everyone’s mind since the first trailer for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” made its debut back in April: Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). That trailer revealed that the big bad of the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy would be in this movie somehow. We were all so excited to find out how that would work, since it’s not as though either “The Force Awakens” or “The Last Jedi” had given any hints that he was still around. His laugh at the end of the trailer was completely out of left field.It was definitely a big mystery of the type JJ Abrams loves — we’ve all been cracking jokes about his whole mystery box concept since the “Lost” days. And this one was a doozie, because we’ve all thought for the past several decades that Palpatine definitely for sure died at the end of “Return of the Jedi.” And as we learned in the prequels, it was extremely Anakin Skywalker’s destiny to kill him. So it was hard to guess how this would work, but it seemed like it would make the most sense for him to be a Force ghost who had been influencing events.And now we’ve seen the movie, and it turns out that, uh, I’m still not really sure how Emperor Palpatine ended up in this movie. He’s not a ghost — he’s just still alive. And he claims that he “made” Snoke, as we see a shot of a cloning tube containing another Snoke body. And he’s got a huge fleet of Star Destroyers that have been hidden under the Exogol ice. And each of those Star Destroyers, apparently, is equipped with a planet-killing Death Star superlaser.Also Read: Whose Voices Were Those at the End of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'?None of this is explained in any way. I guess we’re just not supposed to think about it too much.This is strange because back in “Return of the Jedi,” Palpatine was tossed into the Death Star’s reactor and appeared to actually explode. But even assuming he somehow survived that, just a few moments later the entire Death Star blew up, which seems like it would be a difficult thing to survive when you’re literally at the center of it. But as we see in “The Rise of Skywalker,” apparently folks who have talent with the Force can use it to do basically anything they want, no problem — including resurrection, which we saw Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) do for Rey (Daisy Ridley) at the very end of the movie. So anything and everything is possible if you think of it that way.But he’s definitely still alive and not a ghost, though barely. The Emperor would be over 110 years old at this point, and it shows because he looks pretty gross, with his dead eyes and rotting fingers and all that stuff. And, of course, the whole point of his plan in this movie is to have Rey kill him, and she wouldn’t be able to kill him if he were presently dead.So I have so many questions about this and no answers. I don’t know how he got a fleet of Death Star Destroyers or whatever you wanna call them. I don’t know why, when he was arranging for the rise of the First Order, he wouldn’t make use of some of them. Or why he would need the First Order at all when he has a fleet of Death Stars.Also Read: 'Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker' Film Review: Final Chapter Delivers the Goods, But It's Slick and a Little SoullessAnd I really don’t understand the Snoke thing. Since Snoke was literally a fake person, can we assume that everything he did can be attributed to Palpatine? If so, why would he direct the First Order to build Starkiller base instead — beating a dead horse here — using those Death Stars they already have? Or did he just let Snoke loose to do whatever and not really actively engage?I also don’t understand what Luke knew or when he knew it about Palpatine. A couple decades before this new trilogy, Luke and Lando went searching for Exogol themselves. And in the present Luke and Leia both know about Rey’s family before she does, but we aren’t told how they know or when they learned it.This is, I think, the big picture of why “The Rise of Skywalker” is so frustrating — crazy things happen, and there’s no way to figure out why those things happened just from watching the movie. Someday we will get answers, maybe from the finale of “The Mandalorian” next week, or from some novel or comic book. But right now, we have no meaningful answers.Read original story Nothing About Emperor Palpatine’s Return in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Makes Sense At TheWrap
(Spoilers ahead for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and Rose Tico’s role in it in particular)There are so many strange things that happen in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and it’s rife with odd creative decisions. And while the way the movie treats Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) is not even remotely the weirdest thing about this movie, it’s certainly one of the most blatantly obvious bits of pandering that JJ Abrams’s film does.When Rose was first introduced back in “The Last Jedi,” it wasn’t necessarily the cleanest fit. She spent most of the movie with Finn (John Boyega) going on a side adventure that had no real bearing on the main plot and thus, unlike the characters who were in “The Force Awakens,” never actually got to establish herself as part of the new trilogy’s ensemble. She never got to be part of the group, and thus felt kinda extraneous.That’s not an unfixable problem. John Boyega promised that the main crew of this new trilogy would spend a lot more time together in “The Rise of Skywalker,” so really all that needed to be done was to include Rose in that crew. After all, extraneous or not she was inarguably one of the film’s main characters and even got to deliver a line of dialogue summing up what amounts to the moral of the story. And at the end of “The Last Jedi,” Rose and Finn have basically become a couple, so it would make sense to bring her along on Finn’s adventures with Poe and Rey.Also Read: Nothing About Emperor Palpatine's Return in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Makes SenseExcept that doesn’t happen, like at all. In TROS, Rose basically gets the same treatment Jar Jar received in “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” Relegating her to a very minor role — barely more than a cameo — the film tries to present her like she was never actually one of the main characters in this new trilogy. And her interactions with Finn suggest nothing more than professional courtesy, an especially weird thing to do considering the last time we saw them, they were kissing.I can’t pretend to know exactly what the thought process was behind this decision, but there are not all that many reasons why they would push Rose out of frame like this. The big one, as we all know, is that a bunch of freakin’ nerds conducted a months-long harassment campaign that drove Kelly Marie Tran off social media after “The Last Jedi” came out. Actually, that’s the only reason I can think of. That doesn’t mean it is the only possible reason, obviously. “The Rise of Skywalker” is full of shockingly inexplicable creative decisions — we’re talking about a movie with a huge fleet of Death Stars here. But if there’s some other reason why she’s only in a handful of scenes, it’s not something we could intuit.There a feeling that “The Rise of Skywalker” is trying to undo the setup provided by “The Last Jedi,” sort of like how that film set out to defy your expectations based on how “The Force Awakens” kicked off the trilogy. Abrams and co. will insist that’s not the case, but Rose serves as pretty solid evidence.Also Read: Whose Voices Were Those at the End of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'?And that’s annoying! I can understand, in a general sense, criticisms of how her character was handled in “The Last Jedi.” What I can’t understand, in the third movie of a trilogy and ninth movie of a series, is simply refusing the play the cards you’re dealt. You can’t just toss one of the main characters aside just because a couple dozen angry internet nerds didn’t like her in the last movie.Or I guess you can, since that’s exactly what happened with Rose in “The Rise of Skywalker.” And that’s not great, Bob.Read original story ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ – We Need to Talk About This Rose Tico Situation At TheWrap
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is literally the most exciting film in the Star Wars series, because there is never a dull moment.
Critics are underwhelmed with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” saddling the finale to one of the biggest franchises of all time with just a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes. They called the film a “safe,” “sour” or even “convoluted” end to the Skywalker saga.It’s still early, and the score could change, but the review embargo for the film broke just after midnight on Wednesday, and with 119 critics reporting at time of writing, the current score places it below not just the previous “Star Wars” films “The Last Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” but even behind “Solo” and “Rogue One,” though it’s just ahead of “Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” which has just a 53% score.“Rest assured that there’s nothing in this final ‘Star Wars’ that would prompt the eye-rolls or the snickers of Episodes I-III; Abrams is too savvy a studio player for those kinds of shenanigans,” TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde wrote in his mixed review of the film. “But his slick delivery of a sterling, shiny example of what Martin Scorsese would call ‘not cinema’ feels momentarily satisfying but ultimately unfulfilling. It’s a somewhat soulless delivery system of catharsis, but Disney and Abrams are banking on the delivery itself to be enough.”Also Read: 'Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker' Film Review: Final Chapter Delivers the Goods, But It's Slick and a Little SoullessMany of the reviews pointed out that the film’s first act is loaded with exposition as a way to reunite the three main characters and tie up many of the film’s loose ends. Some reviews called it “incoherent” and added that many of those plot threads fail to satisfy in the end.“The gang’s all here–every new and old favorite character one could imagine–for an experience so convoluted and overstuffed that I wondered whether the whole cast would board a flying kitchen sink for the final battle,” David Sims wrote in The Atlantic.But much of the discussion has centered around Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi.” Critics have said Abrams’ film works as something of a course correction for fans who were outraged at the direction of the previous film, undoing some of “The Last Jedi’s” main and best ideas.“The haste with which ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ rushes to undo its predecessor is almost comical at first, at least before its capitulation to the franchise’s most toxic fans turns outright contemptible. Mad that Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) didn’t spend enough time together in the last movie? Let’s shove them into the same frame from the beginning and throw in lots of forced banter to remind you that they’re pals,” Sam Adams writes in Slate. “Didn’t like when they killed off the pale evil guy with the misshapen face? What if we brought in another? And that whole thing about Rey being ‘no one,’ suggesting a radical rewrite of the idea that Jedi knights are made and not born? Well, you’ll have to see what happens there for yourself.”Also Read: 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Arrives With Sky-High Box Office Expectations“He’s made what feels sometimes like a glorified apology for his successor’s choices,” A.A. Dowd says of Abrams in The A.V. Club. “Remember in ‘Last Jedi’ when fallen son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) smashed his Vader-esque helmet to bits as a symbolic rejection of the past? It takes him all of 15 minutes to weld it back together in ‘Skywalker,’ the little red cracks across its surface evidence of a “mistake” that’s been mended.”See more reactions from critics below. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opens in theaters this Friday.Alonso Duralde, TheWrapAbrams certainly knows how to manipulate, but when he does it, you can see the strings. How much or little you enjoy “The Rise of Skywalker” will rely almost entirely on whether or not you mind that every laugh and tear and jolt feels like it’s coming right off a spreadsheet.Mike Ryan, UproxxJ.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the most convoluted of all the Star Wars movies. It feels like three full movies worth of plot crammed into one film. The stories in the other Star Wars movies, even the Prequels, have a way of bringing a viewer into that world. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” never lets us in. It, instead, keeps us at arms length so it can use almost its entire first half as exposition. Just character after character explaining things.A.O. Scott, The New York TimesAt least since “The Return of the Jedi” (1983), the point of each chapter has been consolidation rather than distinction. For a single film to risk being too interesting would be to imperil the long-term strategy of cultivating a multigenerational, multinational fandom. “The Rise of Skywalker” — Episode IX, in case you’ve lost count — is one of the best. (It opens Friday.) Also one of the worst. Perfectly middling. It all amounts to the same thing.Sam Adams, Slate“The Rise of Skywalker” gives people what they go to Star Wars for, but that’s all it does–and worse, all it sets out to do. It’s frenzied, briefly infuriating, and eventually, grudgingly, satisfying, but it’s like being force-fed fandom: Your belly is filled, but there’s no pleasure in the meal. The movie feels like it’s part of the post-“Last Jedi” retrenchment, when Disney jerked the leash on “Solo” and killed plans for future spinoffs by insisting that filmmakers stick to the established playbook. It’s of a piece with the pointedly unambitious “The Mandalorian,” just good enough to get people’s attention but fundamentally terrified of rocking the boat. Rather than making a movie some people might love, Abrams tried to make a movie no one would hate, and as a result, you don’t feel much of anything at all.Jake Coyle, Associated PressNot much has caused a disturbance in the “Star Wars” galaxy quite like Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi,” an erratic but electric movie that, regardless of how you felt about it, was something worth arguing about. The same can’t be said for J. J. Abrams’ “Rise of Skywalker,” a scattershot, impatiently paced, fan-servicing finale that repurposes so much of what came before that it feels as though someone searching for the hyperspace button accidentally pressed the spin cycle instead.David Sims, The AtlanticThe gang’s all here–every new and old favorite character one could imagine–for an experience so convoluted and overstuffed that I wondered whether the whole cast would board a flying kitchen sink for the final battle.A.A. Dowd, The A.V. ClubBut in the case of this ninth official episode, the batting-cleanup responsibilities are compounded by the expectations of a fanbase on the cusp of mutiny. “Skywalker” wants desperately to please them, a potentially impossible task it tackles with transparently ingratiating caution. This is a space opera animated not by joy but insecurity–the anxiety, evident in almost every moment, that if it’s not very careful, someone might feel letdown.Brian Truitt, USA TodayIt’s a treat when Rey, Finn and Poe finally get to the adventuring, not only because there are tons of Han, Luke and Leia vibes when they’re together, but also because their taking on flying First Order goons in a wild, banter-laden “Mad Max”-esque speeder chase reminds why these movies are a hoot.Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-TimesThere are a few moments when it feels as if this movie is trying to satisfy every “Star Wars” fanatic in the world — but that would be beyond the scope of even the most impressive Jedi mind trick. “The Rise of Skywalker” rarely comes close to touching greatness, but it’s a solid, visually dazzling and warmhearted victory for the Force of quality filmmaking.Michael Phillips, Chicago TribuneIt wraps up the trio of trilogies begun in 1977 in a confident, soothingly predictable way, doing all that cinematically possible to avoid poking the bear otherwise known as tradition-minded quadrants of the “Star Wars” fan base.Read original story ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Underwhelms Critics as ‘Convoluted’ and ‘Safe’ Finale At TheWrap
“Marriage Story” actor Adam Driver walked out of a taping of NPR’s “Fresh Air” with host Terry Gross earlier this month after a clip of him singing from the Netflix film was played during his interview.“We don’t really understand why he left,” the program’s executive producer Danny Miller said in a statement. “We were looking forward to the interview — Terry thinks he’s a terrific actor, he was a great guest when he was on (“Fresh Air”) in 2015 — so we were disappointed that we didn’t have a new interview to share with our listeners about ‘Marriage Story.'”The clip that was played comes late in the Netflix movie when Driver’s character sings Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive” in a karaoke bar.Also Read: 'Marriage Story,' 'Chernobyl' Lead 2020 Golden Globes NominationsIronically, Driver had told “Fresh Air” about his apprehension hearing himself back in 2015. “Yeah, no, I’ve watched myself or listened to myself before, then always hate it,” Driver said at the time. “And then wish I could change it, but you can’t. And I think I have, like, a tendency to try to make things better or drive myself and the other people around me crazy with the things I wanted to change or I wish I could change.”Knowing this, Driver was invited to remove his headphones while the “Marriage Story” clip played and then an engineer would cue the actor when it was over to continue the interview.“But this time around, after the clip concluded we were informed by our engineer in NY that he had walked out of the studio, and then left the building,” Miller added. “We still don’t understand why Adam Driver chose to leave the interview at that point.”Also Read: 'Marriage Story' Film Review: Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver Break Apart in Noah Baumbach's Devastating DramaBack in October, Driver told New York magazine about similar situations: He hid in the green room during a screening of “BlacKkKlansman” and got nauseous during the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiere.The actor has had a busy promotional tour schedule between November’s “The Report” on Amazon, “Marriage Story” on Netflix and Disney’s “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” which opens Friday.Driver did attend the premiere of “Rise of Skywalker” on Tuesday night in Hollywood and even took the stage with his co-stars. No word on whether he stayed in the audience during the screening.The Daily Beast was first to report the story.Read original story Adam Driver Walks Off NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ to Avoid Listening to Himself Act and Sing At TheWrap
The third and final film in Disney's latest Star Wars trilogy, "The Rise of Skywalker," had its world premiere Monday night in Los Angeles with audience members rushing to Twitter to share their thoughts. The official review embargo for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" lifts on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 12:01 a.m. PST. The […]
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